Fall in housing starts prompts build-to-let call
New housing starts are now down 11% on 2011 and 45% down on 2007.
Statistics released by the Department of Communities and Local Government reveal that the number of new builds is well short of the pre-crash peak, with 45% fewer new builds in the three months to December 2012 when compared with the three months to March 2007.
The British Property Federation (BPF) says that “the country needs to end its obsession with owner occupation” and consider build to let.
While the picture for housing completions was a little rosier with a 1% increase compared to 2011, the UK is still only building half of the homes estimated to meet demand, the BPF said, despite a raft of government initiatives aimed at kick starting house building.
The BPF has been calling for the expansion of an institutionally funded private rented sector, which could bring badly needed new funding to develop quality homes for longer-term rent, and meet some of the shortfall in housing building.
BPF director of policy Ian Fletcher said: “Against the backdrop of these figures we need to seriously think about how we’re going to build the homes this country needs to meet growing demand.
“As things stand the owner occupied model just isn’t delivering the required numbers, and we need to focus on a range of options.
“To improve overall housing supply it needs to be affordable, does not require access to mortgage finance and not put undue strain on tight public finances. An institutional-funded professional rented sector, building to let, ticks all these boxes.”
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This article was published on 22 Feb 2013 (last updated on 22 Feb 2013).